bims-mibica Biomed News
on Mitochondrial bioenergetics in cancer
Issue of 2022‒10‒30
25 papers selected by
Kelsey Fisher-Wellman
East Carolina University

  1. Biochim Biophys Acta Bioenerg. 2022 Oct 19. pii: S0005-2728(22)00400-5. [Epub ahead of print]1864(1): 148930
      At low inner mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨ) oxaloacetate (OAA) accumulates in the organelles concurrently with decreased complex II-energized respiration. This is consistent with ΔΨ-dependent OAA inhibition of succinate dehydrogenase. To assess the metabolic importance of this process, we tested the hypothesis that perturbing metabolic clearance of OAA in complex II-energized mitochondria would alter O2 flux and, further, that this would occur in both ΔΨ and tissue-dependent fashion. We carried out respiratory and metabolite studies in skeletal muscle and interscapular brown adipose tissue (IBAT) directed at the effect of OAA transamination to aspartate (catalyzed by the mitochondrial form of glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase, Got2) on complex II-energized respiration. Addition of low amounts of glutamate to succinate-energized mitochondria at low ΔΨ increased complex II (succinate)-energized respiration in muscle but had little effect in IBAT mitochondria. The transaminase inhibitor, aminooxyacetic acid, increased OAA concentrations and impaired succinate-energized respiration in muscle but not IBAT mitochondria at low but not high ΔΨ. Immunoblotting revealed that Got2 expression was far greater in muscle than IBAT mitochondria. Because we incidentally observed metabolism of OAA to pyruvate in IBAT mitochondria, more so than in muscle mitochondria, we also examined the expression of mitochondrial oxaloacetate decarboxylase (ODX). ODX was detected only in IBAT mitochondria. In summary, at low but not high ΔΨ, mitochondrial transamination clears OAA preventing loss of complex II respiration: a process far more active in muscle than IBAT mitochondria. We also provide evidence that OAA decarboxylation clears OAA to pyruvate in IBAT mitochondria.
    Keywords:  Brown adipose tissue; Mitochondria; Mitochondrial complex II; Muscle; Oxaloacetate; Succinate dehydrogenase
  2. Cancers (Basel). 2022 Oct 18. pii: 5097. [Epub ahead of print]14(20):
      We discovered that the overexpression of mitochondrial enzyme succinate dehydrogenase (SDHA) is particularly prevalent in ovarian carcinoma and promotes highly metabolically active phenotype. Succinate dehydrogenase deficiency has been previously studied in some rare disorders. However, the role of SDHA upregulation and its impact on ovarian cancer metabolism has never been investigated, emphasizing the need for further research. We investigated the functional consequences of SDHA overexpression in ovarian cancer. Using proteomics approaches and biological assays, we interrogated protein content of metabolic pathways, cell proliferation, anchorage-independent growth, mitochondrial respiration, glycolytic function, and ATP production rates in those cells. Lastly, we performed a drug screening to identify agents specifically targeting the SDHA overexpressing tumor cells. We showed that SDHA overexpressing cells are characterized by enhanced energy metabolism, relying on both glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation to meet their energy needs. In addition, SDHA-high phenotype was associated with cell vulnerability to glucose and glutamine deprivation, which led to a substantial reduction of ATP yield. We also identified an anti-metabolic compound shikonin with a potent efficacy against SDHA overexpressing ovarian cancer cells. Our data underline the unappreciated role of SDHA in reprogramming of ovarian cancer metabolism, which represents a new opportunity for therapeutic intervention.
    Keywords:  SDHA; metabolism; ovarian cancer; patient-derived xenograft; shikonin; succinate dehydrogenase
  3. PLoS One. 2022 ;17(10): e0275621
      Mitochondrial activity in cancer cells has been central to cancer research since Otto Warburg first published his thesis on the topic in 1956. Although Warburg proposed that oxidative phosphorylation in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle was perturbed in cancer, later research has shown that oxidative phosphorylation is activated in most cancers, including prostate cancer (PCa). However, more detailed knowledge on mitochondrial metabolism and metabolic pathways in cancers is still lacking. In this study we expand our previously developed method for analyzing functional homologous proteins (FunHoP), which can provide a more detailed view of metabolic pathways. FunHoP uses results from differential expression analysis of RNA-Seq data to improve pathway analysis. By adding information on subcellular localization based on experimental data and computational predictions we can use FunHoP to differentiate between mitochondrial and non-mitochondrial processes in cancerous and normal prostate cell lines. Our results show that mitochondrial pathways are upregulated in PCa and that splitting metabolic pathways into mitochondrial and non-mitochondrial counterparts using FunHoP adds to the interpretation of the metabolic properties of PCa cells.
  4. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Oct 20. pii: 12610. [Epub ahead of print]23(20):
      The lack of effective treatments for mitochondrial disease has seen the development of new approaches, including those that stimulate mitochondrial biogenesis to boost ATP production. Here, we examined the effects of deoxyribonucleosides (dNs) on mitochondrial biogenesis and function in Short chain enoyl-CoA hydratase 1 (ECHS1) 'knockout' (KO) cells, which exhibit combined defects in both oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and mitochondrial fatty acid β-oxidation (FAO). DNs treatment increased mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number and the expression of mtDNA-encoded transcripts in both CONTROL (CON) and ECHS1 KO cells. DNs treatment also altered global nuclear gene expression, with key gene sets including 'respiratory electron transport' and 'formation of ATP by chemiosmotic coupling' increased in both CON and ECHS1 KO cells. Genes involved in OXPHOS complex I biogenesis were also upregulated in both CON and ECHS1 KO cells following dNs treatment, with a corresponding increase in the steady-state levels of holocomplex I in ECHS1 KO cells. Steady-state levels of OXPHOS complex V, and the CIII2/CIV and CI/CIII2/CIV supercomplexes, were also increased by dNs treatment in ECHS1 KO cells. Importantly, treatment with dNs increased both basal and maximal mitochondrial oxygen consumption in ECHS1 KO cells when metabolizing either glucose or the fatty acid palmitoyl-L-carnitine. These findings highlight the ability of dNs to improve overall mitochondrial respiratory function, via the stimulation mitochondrial biogenesis, in the face of combined defects in OXPHOS and FAO due to ECHS1 deficiency.
    Keywords:  ECHS1 deficiency; deoxyribonucleosides; mitochondria; mitochondrial biogenesis; mitochondrial disease
  5. Phytother Res. 2022 Oct 24.
      The treatments currently used for prostate cancer (PC) do not meet clinical needs, and thus, new therapies with greater effectiveness are urgently required. Metabolic reprogramming of tumor cells is emerging as an exciting field for cancer therapy. Although the Warburg effect is a common feature of glucose metabolism in many cancers, PC cells have a unique metabolic phenotype. Non-neoplastic prostate cells show reduced oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) because large, accumulated zinc inhibits citrate oxidation. During transformation, there are low levels of zinc in PC cells, and the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle is reactivated. However, metastatic PC exhibits the Warburg effect. Due to metabolic differences in prostate tissue, targeting metabolic alterations in PC cells is an attractive therapeutic strategy. In this study, we investigated the effect of juglone on energy metabolism in PC cells. We found that juglone inhibited cell proliferation and induced apoptosis. Mechanistically, we demonstrated that juglone suppressed OXPHOS and glycolysis due to its inhibition of hexokinase (HK), phosphofructokinase (PFK), and pyruvate kinase (PK) activity. Furthermore, downregulation of PFK and PK, but not HK contributed to the inhibition of these enzyme activities. The current study indicates that further development of juglone for PC treatment would be beneficial.
    Keywords:  Warburg effect; glycolysis; juglone; metabolomics; oxidative phosphorylation; prostate cancer
  6. Biomedicines. 2022 Oct 01. pii: 2459. [Epub ahead of print]10(10):
      Mitochondria are ATP-generating organelles in eukaryotic cells that produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) during oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is packaged within nucleoids and, due to its close proximity to ROS production, endures oxidative base damage. This damage can be repaired by base excision repair (BER) within the mitochondria, or it can be degraded via exonucleases or mitophagy. Persistent mtDNA damage may drive the production of dysfunctional OXPHOS components that generate increased ROS, or OXPHOS components may be directly damaged by ROS, which then can cause more mtDNA damage and create a vicious cycle of ROS production and mitochondrial dysfunction. If mtDNA damage is left unrepaired, mtDNA mutations including deletions can result. The accumulation of mtDNA mutations has been associated with conditions ranging from the aging process to cancer and neurodegenerative conditions, but the sequence of events leading to mtDNA mutations and deletions is yet unknown. Researchers have utilized many systems and agents for generating ROS in mitochondria to observe the downstream effects on mtDNA, ROS, and mitochondrial function; yet, there are various drawbacks to these methodologies that limit their precision. Here, we describe a novel chemoptogenetic approach to target oxidative damage to mitochondria and mtDNA with a high spatial and temporal resolution so that the downstream effects of ROS-induced damage can be measured with a high precision in order to better understand the mechanism of mitochondrial dysfunction in aging, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases.
    Keywords:  base excision repair; chemoptogenetics; mitochondria; mitochondrial DNA; mitochondrial dysfunction; reactive oxygen species
  7. Front Immunol. 2022 ;13 960226
      T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is an aggressive hematologic malignancy derived from early T cell progenitors. Since relapsed T-ALL is associated with a poor prognosis improving initial treatment of patients is essential to avoid resistant selection of T-ALL. During initiation, development, metastasis and even in response to chemotherapy, tumor cells face strong metabolic challenges. In this study, we identify mitochondrial UnCoupling Protein 2 (UCP2) as a tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle metabolite transporter controlling glutamine metabolism associated with T-ALL cell proliferation. In T-ALL cell lines, we show that UCP2 expression is controlled by glutamine metabolism and is essential for their proliferation. Our data show that T-ALL cell lines differ in their substrate dependency and their energetic metabolism (glycolysis and oxidative). Thus, while UCP2 silencing decreases cell proliferation in all leukemia cells, it also alters mitochondrial respiration of T-ALL cells relying on glutamine-dependent oxidative metabolism by rewiring their cellular metabolism to glycolysis. In this context, the function of UCP2 in the metabolite export of malate enables appropriate TCA cycle to provide building blocks such as lipids for cell growth and mitochondrial respiration. Therefore, interfering with UCP2 function can be considered as an interesting strategy to decrease metabolic efficiency and proliferation rate of leukemia cells.
    Keywords:  UCP2; glutamine; leukemia; metabolism rewiring; metabolite carrier; mitochondria
  8. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2022 Oct 25. 79(11): 565
      Mitochondria are major sources of cytotoxic reactive oxygen species (ROS), such as superoxide and hydrogen peroxide, that when uncontrolled contribute to cancer progression. Maintaining a finely tuned, healthy mitochondrial population is essential for cellular homeostasis and survival. Mitophagy, the selective elimination of mitochondria by autophagy, monitors and maintains mitochondrial health and integrity, eliminating damaged ROS-producing mitochondria. However, mechanisms underlying mitophagic control of mitochondrial homeostasis under basal conditions remain poorly understood. E3 ubiquitin ligase Gp78 is an endoplasmic reticulum membrane protein that induces mitochondrial fission and mitophagy of depolarized mitochondria. Here, we report that CRISPR/Cas9 knockout of Gp78 in HT-1080 fibrosarcoma cells increased mitochondrial volume, elevated ROS production and rendered cells resistant to carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenyl hydrazone (CCCP)-induced mitophagy. These effects were phenocopied by knockdown of the essential autophagy protein ATG5 in wild-type HT-1080 cells. Use of the mito-Keima mitophagy probe confirmed that Gp78 promoted both basal and damage-induced mitophagy. Application of a spot detection algorithm (SPECHT) to GFP-mRFP tandem fluorescent-tagged LC3 (tfLC3)-positive autophagosomes reported elevated autophagosomal maturation in wild-type HT-1080 cells relative to Gp78 knockout cells, predominantly in proximity to mitochondria. Mitophagy inhibition by either Gp78 knockout or ATG5 knockdown reduced mitochondrial potential and increased mitochondrial ROS. Live cell analysis of tfLC3 in HT-1080 cells showed the preferential association of autophagosomes with mitochondria of reduced potential. Xenograft tumors of HT-1080 knockout cells show increased labeling for mitochondria and the cell proliferation marker Ki67 and reduced labeling for the TUNEL cell death reporter. Basal Gp78-dependent mitophagic flux is, therefore, selectively associated with reduced potential mitochondria promoting maintenance of a healthy mitochondrial population, limiting ROS production and tumor cell proliferation.
    Keywords:  GFP-mRFP tandem fluorescent-tagged LC3; Gp78 ubiquitin ligase; Mitochondria; Mitophagy; Reactive oxygen species; SPECHT; Spot detection
  9. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Oct 15. pii: 12354. [Epub ahead of print]23(20):
      Human mitochondrial transcription termination factor 1 (MTERF1) has been demonstrated to play an important role in mitochondrial gene expression regulation. However, the molecular mechanism of MTERF1 in colorectal cancer (CRC) remains largely unknown. Here, we found that MTERF1 expression was significantly increased in colon cancer tissues compared with normal colorectal tissue by Western blotting, immunohistochemistry, and tissue microarrays (TMA). Overexpression of MTERF1 in the HT29 cell promoted cell proliferation, migration, invasion, and xenograft tumor formation, whereas knockdown of MTERF1 in HCT116 cells appeared to be the opposite phenotype to HT29 cells. Furthermore, MTERF1 can increase mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) replication, transcription, and protein synthesis in colorectal cancer cells; increase ATP levels, the mitochondrial crista density, mitochondrial membrane potential, and oxygen consumption rate (OCR); and reduce the ROS production in colorectal cancer cells, thereby enhancing mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) activity. Mechanistically, we revealed that MTERF1 regulates the AMPK/mTOR signaling pathway in cancerous cell lines, and we also confirmed the involvement of the AMPK/mTOR signaling pathway in both xenograft tumor tissues and colorectal cancer tissues. In summary, our data reveal an oncogenic role of MTERF1 in CRC progression, indicating that MTERF1 may represent a new therapeutic target in the future.
    Keywords:  AMPK/mTOR; MTERF1; cell proliferation; colorectal cancer; mtDNA; oxidative phosphorylation
  10. Theranostics. 2022 ;12(16): 7032-7050
      Rationale: Glioblastoma (GBM) displays a complex metabolic reprogramming in cancer cells. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is one of the central mediators of cell metabolism and signaling. GBM cells generate ATP by glycolysis and the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle associated with oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) through the breaking-down of pyruvate or fatty acids to meet the growing energy demand of cancer cells. Therefore, it's urgent to develop novel treatments targeting energy metabolism to hinder tumor cell proliferation in GBM. Methods: Non-targeted metabolomic profiling analysis was utilized to evaluate cell metabolic reprogramming using a small molecule inhibitor (SMI) EPIC-0412 treatment. Cellular oxygen consumption rate (OCR) and the total proton efflux rate (PER), as well as ATP concentration, were tracked to study metabolic responses to specifically targeted inhibitors, including EPIC-0412, arachidonyl trifluoromethyl ketone (AACOCF3), and 2 deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG). Cancer cell proliferation was assessed by CCK-8 measurements and colony formation assay. Additionally, flow cytometry, immunoblotting (IB), and immunofluorescence (IF) analyses were performed with GBM cells to understand their tumorigenic properties under treatments. Finally, the anticancer effects of this combination therapy were evaluated in the GBM mouse model by convection-enhanced delivery (CED). Results: We found that SMI EPIC-0412 could effectively perturb the TCA cycle, which participated in the combination therapy of cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2)-inhibitor AACOCF3, and hexokinase II (HK2)-inhibitor 2-DG to disrupt the GBM energy metabolism for targeted metabolic treatments. ATP production was significantly declined in glioma cells when treated with monotherapy (EPIC-0412 or AACOCF3), dual therapy (EPIC-0412 + AACOCF3), or triple therapy (EPIC-0412 + AACOCF3 +2-DG) regimen. Our experiments revealed that these therapies hindered glioma cell proliferation and growth, leading to the reduction in ATP production and G0/G1 cell cycle arrest. We demonstrated that the combination therapy effectively extended the survival of cerebral tumor-bearing mice. Conclusion: Our findings indicate that the TCA-phospholipid-glycolysis metabolism axis can be blocked by specific inhibitors that significantly disrupt the tumor energy metabolism and suppress tumor proliferation in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that targeting ATP synthesis inhibition in cancer cells might be an attractive therapeutic avenue in GBM management.
    Keywords:  ATP production; convection-enhanced delivery.; energy metabolism; glioblastoma
  11. Antioxidants (Basel). 2022 Oct 17. pii: 2043. [Epub ahead of print]11(10):
      Mitochondrial complex I can produce large quantities of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by reverse electron transfer (RET) from the ubiquinone (UQ) pool. Glutathionylation of complex I does induce increased mitochondrial superoxide/hydrogen peroxide (O2●-/H2O2) production, but the source of this ROS has not been identified. Here, we interrogated the glutathionylation of complex I subunit NDUFS1 and examined if its modification can result in increased ROS production during RET from the UQ pool. We also assessed glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GPD) and proline dehydrogenase (PRODH) glutathionylation since both flavoproteins have measurable rates for ROS production as well. Induction of glutathionylation with disulfiram induced a significant increase in O2●-/H2O2 production during glycerol-3-phosphate (G3P) and proline (Pro) oxidation. Treatment of mitochondria with inhibitors for complex I (rotenone and S1QEL), complex III (myxothiazol and S3QEL), glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (iGP), and proline dehydrogenase (TFA) confirmed that the sites for this increase were complexes I and III, respectively. Treatment of liver mitochondria with disulfiram (50-1000 nM) did not induce GPD or PRODH glutathionylation, nor did it affect their activities, even though disulfiram dose-dependently increased the total number of protein glutathione mixed disulfides (PSSG). Immunocapture of complex I showed disulfiram incubations resulted in the modification of NDUFS1 subunit in complex I. Glutathionylation could be reversed by reducing agents, restoring the deglutathionylated state of NDUFS1 and the activity of the complex. Reduction of glutathionyl moieties in complex I also significantly decreased ROS production by RET from GPD and PRODH. Overall, these findings demonstrate that the modification of NDUFS1 can result in increased ROS production during RET from the UQ pool, which has implications for understanding the relationship between mitochondrial glutathionylation reactions and induction of oxidative distress in several pathologies.
    Keywords:  complex I; glutathionylation; glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase; hydrogen peroxide; mitochondria; proline dehydrogenase
  12. iScience. 2022 Oct 21. 25(10): 105244
      Mitochondria are major organelles responsible for cellular energy and metabolism, and their dysfunction is tightly linked to cancer. The mitochondrial ribosome (mitoribosome) is a protein complex consisting of 82 mitoribosomal proteins (MRPs) encoded by nuclear genes and is essential for mitochondrial protein synthesis. However, their roles in tumorigenesis remain poorly understood. We performed pan-cancer analyses of 18,177 tumors representing 28 cancer types to determine somatic alterations of MRP genes as a genetic basis for tumorigenesis. We identified a set of 20 altered MRPs known to be involved in early assembly of the mitoribosome complex. We found that tumors with affected MRPs were associated with impaired mitochondrial functions and TP53 mutations accompanied by increased genomic instability and intra-tumor heterogeneity. MRP deletions were associated with poor survival. Our results reveal a key role for mitochondrial ribosome biogenesis in tumor malignancy across cancer types.
    Keywords:  Bioinformatics; Biological database; Biological sciences; Cancer; Medical informatics
  13. EMBO J. 2022 Oct 24. e111239
      Bone-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) reside in a hypoxic niche that maintains their differentiation potential. While hypoxia (low oxygen concentration) was reported to critically support stem cell function and osteogenesis, the molecular events triggering changes in stem cell fate decisions in response to normoxia (high oxygen concentration) remain elusive. Here, we study the impact of normoxia on mitochondrial-nuclear communication during stem cell differentiation. We show that normoxia-cultured murine MSCs undergo profound transcriptional alterations which cause irreversible osteogenesis defects. Mechanistically, high oxygen promotes chromatin compaction and histone hypo-acetylation, particularly on promoters and enhancers of osteogenic genes. Although normoxia induces metabolic rewiring resulting in elevated acetyl-CoA levels, histone hypo-acetylation occurs due to the trapping of acetyl-CoA inside mitochondria owing to decreased citrate carrier (CiC) activity. Restoring the cytosolic acetyl-CoA pool remodels the chromatin landscape and rescues the osteogenic defects. Collectively, our results demonstrate that the metabolism-chromatin-osteogenesis axis is perturbed upon exposure to high oxygen levels and identifies CiC as a novel, oxygen-sensitive regulator of the MSC function.
    Keywords:  histone acetylation; hypoxia; mesenchymal stem cells; metabolism; osteogenesis
  14. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2022 Oct 29. 79(11): 573
      Mitochondrial dynamics are balanced fission and fusion events that regulate mitochondrial morphology, and alteration in these events results in mitochondrial dysfunction and contributes to many diseases, including tumorigenesis. Ovarian cancer (OC) cells exhibit fragmented mitochondria, but the mechanism by which mitochondrial dynamics regulators contribute to OC is considerably less clear. Here, we elucidated the potential role of Mfn2-mediated mitochondrial fusion in OC and present evidence that genetic or pharmacological activation of Mfn2 leads to mitochondrial fusion and reduces ROS generation, which correlates with reduced cell proliferation, invasion, migration, and EMT in OC cells. Also, increased mitochondrial fusion promotes the F-actin remodeling, reduces lamellipodia formation, and thus reduces EMT. Increased expression of Mfn2 triggers AMPK, promotes autophagy, reduces ROS, and suppresses OC progression by downregulating  the p-mTOR (2481 and 2448) and p-ERK axis. OC patients with higher Mfn2 expression have better survival than those with lower Mfn2 levels. Our findings demonstrate that restoration of Mfn2-mediated mitochondrial fusion suppressed OC progression and suggest that this process could be a potential strategy in OC treatment.
    Keywords:  AMPK; Autophagy; EMT; Mfn2; Ovarian cancer; ROS
  15. EMBO Mol Med. 2022 Oct 24. e15343
      Lactate is a central metabolite in brain physiology but also contributes to tumor development. Glioblastoma (GB) is the most common and malignant primary brain tumor in adults, recognized by angiogenic and invasive growth, in addition to its altered metabolism. We show herein that lactate fuels GB anaplerosis by replenishing the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle in absence of glucose. Lactate dehydrogenases (LDHA and LDHB), which we found spatially expressed in GB tissues, catalyze the interconversion of pyruvate and lactate. However, ablation of both LDH isoforms, but not only one, led to a reduction in tumor growth and an increase in mouse survival. Comparative transcriptomics and metabolomics revealed metabolic rewiring involving high oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) in the LDHA/B KO group which sensitized tumors to cranial irradiation, thus improving mouse survival. When mice were treated with the antiepileptic drug stiripentol, which targets LDH activity, tumor growth decreased. Our findings unveil the complex metabolic network in which both LDHA and LDHB are integrated and show that the combined inhibition of LDHA and LDHB strongly sensitizes GB to therapy.
    Keywords:  antiepileptic drug; energy metabolism; glioblastoma; invasion; lactate dehydrogenases
  16. J Hematol Oncol. 2022 Oct 26. 15(1): 156
      Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is an aggressive blood cancer with poor clinical outcomes. Emerging data suggest that mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (mtOXPHOS) plays a significant role in AML tumorigenesis, progression, and resistance to chemotherapies. However, how the mtOXPHOS is regulated in AML cells is not well understood. In this study, we investigated the oncogenic functions of ERRα in AML by combining in silico, in vitro, and in vivo analyses and showed ERRα is a key regulator of mtOXPHOS in AML cells. The increased ERRα level was associated with worse clinical outcomes of AML patients. Single cell RNA-Seq analysis of human primary AML cells indicated that ERRα-expressing cancer cells had significantly higher mtOXPHOS enrichment scores. Blockade of ERRα by pharmacologic inhibitor (XCT-790) or gene silencing suppressed mtOXPHOS and increased anti-leukemic effects in vitro and in xenograft mouse models.
    Keywords:  AML; Apoptosis; ERRα; Mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation
  17. Apoptosis. 2022 Oct 25.
      BACKGROUND: LACTB was recently identified as a mitochondrial tumour suppressor that negatively affects cancer cell proliferation by inducing cell death and/or differentiation, depending on the cell type and tissue. However, the detailed mechanism underlying the LACTB-induced cancer cell death is largely unknown.METHODS: We used cell-based, either in 2D or 3D conditions, and in vivo experiments to understand the LACTB mechanisms. In this regard, protein array followed by an enrichment analysis, cell proliferation assays using different compounds, western blot analysis, flow cytometry and immunofluorescence were performed. Differences between quantitative variables following normal distribution were valuated using Student t test for paired or no-paired samples according to the experiment. For in vivo experiments differences in tumour growth were analyzed by 2-way ANOVA.
    RESULTS: We show, that LACTB expression leads to cell cycle arrest in G1 phase and increase of DNA oxidation that leads to activation of intrinsic caspase-independent cell death pathway. This is achieved by an increase of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species since early time points of LACTB induction.
    CONCLUSION: Our work provides a deeper mechanistic insight into LACTB-mediated cancer-cell death and shows the dynamics of the cellular responses a particular tumor suppressive stimulus might evoke under different genetic landscapes.
    Keywords:  Apoptosis; Breast cancer; Caspases; Cell cycle arrest; Cell death; LACTB; Mitochondria
  18. Mol Cell. 2022 Oct 21. pii: S1097-2765(22)00960-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      Coenzyme Q (CoQ) is a redox-active lipid essential for core metabolic pathways and antioxidant defense. CoQ is synthesized upon the mitochondrial inner membrane by an ill-defined "complex Q" metabolon. Here, we present structure-function analyses of a lipid-, substrate-, and NADH-bound complex comprising two complex Q subunits: the hydroxylase COQ7 and the lipid-binding protein COQ9. We reveal that COQ7 adopts a ferritin-like fold with a hydrophobic channel whose substrate-binding capacity is enhanced by COQ9. Using molecular dynamics, we further show that two COQ7:COQ9 heterodimers form a curved tetramer that deforms the membrane, potentially opening a pathway for the CoQ intermediates to translocate from the bilayer to the proteins' lipid-binding sites. Two such tetramers assemble into a soluble octamer with a pseudo-bilayer of lipids captured within. Together, these observations indicate that COQ7 and COQ9 cooperate to access hydrophobic precursors within the membrane and coordinate subsequent synthesis steps toward producing CoQ.
    Keywords:  COQ7; COQ9; coenzyme Q; di-iron proteins; mitochondria; protein-lipid complex; protein-membrane interaction; quinone biosynthesis
  19. J Bioenerg Biomembr. 2022 Oct 29.
      Pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PAAD) is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths, with a 5-year relative survival rate of 6%. Hence, novel therapeutic targets need to be urgently explored for PAAD. Recently, oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) has been identified to contribute to the development of PAAD. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide + hydrogen (NADH) dehydrogenase (ubiquinone) 1 alpha subcomplex 4 (NDUFA4) is known to affect the mitochondrial respiration pathway. However, the function of NDUFA4 in PAAD remains unclear. In this study, NDUFA4 expression was examined in samples from patients with PAAD using real-time polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemical staining. Furthermore, cell proliferation and cell cycle were analyzed using Cell Counting Kit-8 assay and flow cytometry. A xenograft tumor model derived from a PAAD cell line was developed to validate the in vitro findings. NDUFA4 was observed to be upregulated in the PAAD samples, and high levels were associated with a poor survival rate. NDUFA4 knockdown reduced cell proliferation by inducing G1 arrest in SW1990 cells. Mechanistically, NDUFA4 knockdown decreased the oxygen consumption rate, cellular adenosine triphosphate level, mitochondrial complex IV activity, and protein levels of COX6C and COX5B, which indicated the suppression of OXPHOS. In contrast, NDUFA4 overexpression exerted the opposite effects. Finally, NDUFA4 knockdown significantly inhibited the growth of the xenograft tumor derived from the SW1990 cell line in vivo. Therefore, NDUFA4 contributes to PAAD proliferation by enhancing OXPHOS.
    Keywords:  NDUFA4; Oxidative phosphorylation; Pancreatic adenocarcinoma
  20. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Oct 12. pii: 12168. [Epub ahead of print]23(20):
      The transformation of prostatic epithelial cells to prostate cancer (PCa) has been characterized as a transition from citrate secretion to citrate oxidation, from which one would anticipate enhanced mitochondrial complex I (CI) respiratory flux. Molecular mechanisms for this transformation are attributed to declining mitochondrial zinc concentrations. The unique metabolic properties of PCa cells have become a hot research area. Several publications have provided indirect evidence based on investigations using pre-clinical models, established cell lines, and fixed or frozen tissue bank samples. However, confirmatory respiratory analysis on fresh human tissue has been hampered by multiple difficulties. Thus, few mitochondrial respiratory assessments of freshly procured human PCa tissue have been published on this question. Our objective is to document relative mitochondrial CI and complex II (CII) convergent electron flow to the Q-junction and to identify electron transport system (ETS) alterations in fresh PCa tissue. The results document a CII succinate: quinone oxidoreductase (SQR) dominant succinate oxidative flux model in the fresh non-malignant prostate tissue, which is enhanced in malignant tissue. CI NADH: ubiquinone oxidoreductase activity is impaired rather than predominant in high-grade malignant fresh prostate tissue. Given these novel findings, succinate and CII are promising targets for treating and preventing PCa.
    Keywords:  TCA cycle; citrate; electron transport system; respiratory analysis
  21. Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2022 Oct 15. pii: 1271. [Epub ahead of print]15(10):
      Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. Resveratrol, a naturally occurring phytochemical, shows great promise in developing novel anti-cancer therapies. This study hypothesized that the mitochondria-targeted delivery of resveratrol would increase its potency and induce mitochondria-mediated apoptosis. The targeted delivery of resveratrol was achieved by conjugating resveratrol to triphenylphosphonium (TPP). The anti-cancer effects of TPP-resveratrol were studied in the murine breast cancer 4T1 and the human breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cell lines. Flow cytometry was used to study apoptosis induction, cell cycle arrest, and mitochondrial membrane potential loss. The morphological changes in the mitochondria in MDA-MB-231 cells after TPP-resveratrol treatments were examined using transmission electron microscopy. Moreover, the changes in MDA-MB-231 cell metabolism after resveratrol and TPP-resveratrol treatments were studied using metabolomic analysis. We demonstrate that TPP-resveratrol significantly improved cytotoxicity in 4T1 cells and MDA-MB-231 cells by inducing apoptosis and mitochondrial membrane potential loss. Swollen and vacuolated mitochondria were observed after the TPP-resveratrol treatment. Meanwhile, TPP-resveratrol treatment down-regulated amino acid and energy metabolism and caused the dysfunction of purine and pyrimidine metabolism. Our results provide evidence supporting the targeted delivery of resveratrol to mitochondria and suggest that TPP-resveratrol may be an effective agent for breast cancer treatment.
    Keywords:  breast cancer; metabolomics; mitochondrial targeting; resveratrol; triphenylphosphonium
  22. Cell Death Dis. 2022 Oct 26. 13(10): 899
      Mitophagy is a vital process that controls mitochondria quality, dysregulation of which can promote cancer. Oncoprotein mucin 1 (MUC1) targets mitochondria to attenuate drug-induced apoptosis. However, little is known about whether and how MUC1 contributes to mitochondrial homeostasis in cancer cells. We identified a novel role of MUC1 in promoting mitophagy. Increased mitophagy is coupled with the translocation of MUC1 to mitochondria, where MUC1 interacts with and induces degradation of ATPase family AAA domain-containing 3A (ATAD3A), resulting in protection of PTEN-induced kinase 1 (Pink1) from ATAD3A-mediated cleavage. Interestingly, MUC1-induced mitophagy is associated with increased oncogenicity of cancer cells. Similarly, inhibition of mitophagy significantly suppresses MUC1-induced cancer cell activity in vitro and in vivo. Consistently, MUC1 and ATAD3A protein levels present an inverse relationship in tumor tissues of breast cancer patients. Our data validate that MUC1/ATAD3A/Pink1 axis-mediated mitophagy constitutes a novel mechanism for maintaining the malignancy of cancer cells, providing a novel therapeutic approach for MUC1-positive cancers.
  23. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2022 Oct 27.
      SIGNIFICANCE: Accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is known to promote cellular damage in multiple cell-types. In skeletal muscle, ROS has been implicated in disuse-induced muscle atrophy. However, the molecular origin and mechanism of how disuse promotes ROS and muscle dysfunction remains unclear.RECENT ADVANCES: Recently, we implicated membrane lipids of mitochondria to be a potential source of ROS to promote muscle atrophy.
    CRITICAL ISSUES: In this review, we discuss evidence that changes in mitochondrial lipids represent a physiologically-relevant process by which disuse promotes mitochondrial electron leak and oxidative stress.
    FUTURE DIRECTIONS: We further discuss lipid hydroperoxides (LOOH) as a potential downstream mediator of ROS to induce muscle atrophy.
  24. Mol Cancer Ther. 2022 Oct 22. pii: MCT-22-0301. [Epub ahead of print]
      Novel covalent inhibitors of KRASG12C have shown limited response rates in KRASG12C mutant (MT) colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. Thus, novel KRASG12C inhibitor combination strategies that can achieve deep and durable responses are needed. Small molecule KRASG12C inhibitors AZ'1569 and AZ'8037 were employed. To identify novel candidate combination strategies for AZ'1569, we performed RNA sequencing, siRNA and high-throughput drug screening. Top hits were validated in a panel of KRASG12CMT CRC cells and in vivo. AZ'1569-resistant CRC cells were generated and characterised. We found that response to AZ'1569 was heterogeneous across the KRASG12CMT models. AZ'1569 was ineffective at inducing apoptosis when used as single-agent or combined with chemotherapy or agents targeting the EGFR/KRAS/AKT axis. Using a systems biology approach, we identified the anti-apoptotic BH3-family member BCL2L1/Bcl-xL as a top hit mediating resistance to AZ'1569. Further analyses identified acute increases in the pro-apoptotic protein BIM following AZ'1569 treatment. ABT-263 (Navitoclax), a pharmacological Bcl-2 family-inhibitor that blocks the ability of Bcl-xL to bind and inhibit BIM, led to dramatic and universal apoptosis when combined with AZ'1569. Furthermore, this combination also resulted in dramatically attenuated tumour growth in KRASG12CMT xenografts. Finally, AZ'1569-resistant cells showed amplification of KRASG12C, EphA2/c-MET activation, increased pro-inflammatory chemokine profile and cross-resistance to several targeted agents. Importantly, KRAS amplification and AZ'1569-resistance were reversible upon drug withdrawal, arguing strongly for the use of drug holidays in the case of KRAS amplification. Taken together, combinatorial targeting of Bcl-xL and KRASG12C is highly effective, suggesting a novel therapeutic strategy for KRAS G12CMT CRC patients.